Business jet makers look to tap surging corporate travel demand at Las Vegas air show

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LAS VEGAS, Oct 11 (Businesshala) – Planners may unveil new orders and models at the world’s biggest business jet show this week as they aim to capitalize on the boom in private travel, but executives face headwinds from a lack of capacity warned of. .

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The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) returns to an in-person format starting in Las Vegas on Tuesday, testing the strength of demand for jets following the emergence of COVID-19. The show will also highlight the resilience of the aerospace supply chain in stressful logistics around the world.

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The easing of travel restrictions and the lure of private flights has led to an unprecedented growth in business aviation, with traffic rising from 2019 levels. It is filling seats for private operators and expanding the order backlog for planners, putting pressure on the supply of jets and pilots.

Officials said companies that laid off workers or delayed orders during the pandemic are now scrambling to find planes and employees, echoing the problem some airlines are facing.

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This has caused flight cancellations and delays in an industry that charges top prices for reliability, leaving some private operators to shut down business to protect service.

“Everyone will be talking about the same thing: how do we deal with this demand,” said Ian Moore, chief commercial officer of private jet company VistaJet.

“I’m sure there’s going to be a theme at every booth and every cocktail party in Vegas this year.”

One top supplier, Honeywell (HON.O), is forecasting a 50% increase in business jet flight hours in 2021 compared to the previous year.

General Dynamics’ (GD.N) Gulfstream Aerospace, one of the largest business jet manufacturers, is not participating due to COVID-19. The US planner recently announced two new jets, with its larger G800 clashing with Bombardier Inc’s (BBDB.TO) Global 7500 and Dassault Aviation SA (AM.PA) 10X in a battle for flying penthouse.

It’s a boon for private aviation, which has yet to recover from the 1,300 planes it delivered in 2008 before the financial crash, aviation analyst Brian Foley said in a recent note.

Foley said he expects deliveries of about 700 business aircraft to begin in 2022, with a ramp-up in production in 2021 as planmakers remain confident the boom is sustainable.

While Cessna business jet maker Textron Aviation (TXT.N) is ramping up production to meet demand despite supply chain challenges, Canada’s Bombardier is waiting to see how orders develop.

“We’ve rebuilt the backlog and I love that the price is going strong again. But it’s a question of supply and demand,” Bombardier CEO Eric Martel said in a recent interview. We’ll have to see what happens in the next few. months.”

An executive at a corporate jet maker who spoke on condition of anonymity said some planmakers are seeing signs of a demand bubble similar to those before the 2009 economic crash, which left them on the hook with unsold jets. Gave.

“Some people are wondering if this is real or is it 2007 again?”

Reporting by Alison Lampert in Las Vegas, Nevada Additional reporting by Shreyasi Raj in Bangalore Editing by Denny Thomas and Chris Reese

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